The first GOLDSBOROUGH, torpedo boat number 20, was built by Wolff and Zwicker Iron Works of Portland, Oregon. Her keel was laid 14 July 1898 and she was launched 29 July 1899, under the sponsorship of Miss Gertrude Ballin, young daughter of the Superintendent of the Wolf and Zwicker Iron Works. The torpedo boat was commissioned in the Puget Sound Navy Yard 9 April 1908, Lt. Daniel T. Ghent in command.
GOLDSBOROUGH had a length overall of 198 feet; extreme beam, 20 feet 7 inches; normal displacement of 255 tons; mean draft 6 feet 10 inches; designed speed of 27 knots, and a designed complement of 3 officers and 56 men. Her original armament was four 6-pounders and two 18-inch torpedo tubes.
GOLDSBOROUGH joined the Pacific Torpedo Fleet after commissioning on 9 April 1908 and spent the next six years based at San Diego, California. She cruised along the coast of California and the Pacific Coast of Mexico, engaged in torpedo practice and joint Fleet exercises and maneuvers. She was placed in ordinary at the Mare Island Navy Yard on 26 March 1914 and later sailed up the Pacific coast to serve as a training ship for the Oregon State Naval Militia at Portland, Oregon (December 1914-April 1917.) She was again placed in full commission on 7 April 1917 and served as a patrol ship for the Thirteenth Naval District throughout World War I, basing her operations from the Pacific Coast Torpedo Station. During this service 1 August 1918, her name was assigned to a new destroyer to be constructed and she was designated U. S. Coast Torpedo Boat Number 7. She was decommissioned in the Puget Sound Navy Yard, Bremerton, Washington, on 12 March 1919 and sold for scrapping 8 September 1919.
The second GOLDSBOROUGH DD 188 was a “four piper” destroyer which was launched at Newport News, Virginia in 1920 and sponsored by Miss Lucetta Goldsborough, the Admiral’s niece. This ship had a displacement of 1215 tons a speed of 35 knots, and a crew of 6 officers and 95 men. After two years of routine duty she was decommissioned in Philadelphia Navy Yard until re-activation in 1940 as a seaplane tender-destroyer with the hull number AVD 5. In this assignment she saw duty from the Caribbean to Greenland and from the Galapagos Islands to Chile. AVD 5 served in several capacities and in various areas of the Atlantic working with Hunter-Killer Groups and on wartime patrols.
On December 1, 1943 her classification was changed back to destroyer DD 188, and until early in 1945 she operated in the East Atlantic against Nazi Submarines. Following a conversion to APD 32 (high speed destroyer trans-port), she arrived in Pearl Harbor where she embarked a company of United States Marines and joined a task force steaming for what was to become the invasion of Saipan. The landing was made on 13 June 1945 in the face of the stiffest enemy resistance. For five weeks she supported the invasion and twice provided gunfire support to the men on the beaches. Upon completion of this assignment she joined the forces that became involved in the Battle of Leyte Gulf beginning 18 October 1944. Her first mission was to land underwater demolition teams in the face of Japanese machine gun, mortar, and 75mm gunfire. GOLDSBOROUGH returned the enemy fire with her 3 inch guns and joined by other ships in firing into concealed positions ashore. A landing boat came alongside to transfer wounded and later enemy artillery bracketed GOLDSBOROUGH, then hit the forward stack spraying the ship with shrapnel.
On October 1944, GOLDSBOROUGH joined the Central Philippines Attack Force and entered Leyte Gulf. The invasion for the Liberation of the Philippine Islands was launched at this time. Following the operation at Iwo Jima and Okinawa, earning her fourth and fifth battle stars, she returned to San Pedro where she was deactivated and later decommissioned and scraped.
The third GOLDSBOROUGH DDG 20, was built by the Puget Sound Bridge and Drydock Company in Seattle, Washington, and was commissioned at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, Bremerton, Washington on 9 November 1963, Captain Charles D. Allen Jr., in command. The ship was sponsored by Mrs. Alan Bible, wife of U.S. Senator Bible of Nevada.
After working up in the Puget Sound area, she completed a series of port visits on the mainland, and arrived in her new home port of Pearl Harbor, Hawaii on 14 February 1964. Following qualification and acceptance tests in April, she sailed for Sydney, Australia for the Coral Sea celebration and returned to Hawaii in June.
GOLDSBOROUGH got underway in late November for Yokosuka, Japan and her first WestPac deployment with the Seventh Fleet. In February 1966 GOLDSBOROUGH made a second deployment to the Orient. She provided gunfire support for Operation “Binh Phu I” firing nearly 600 rounds. GOLDSBOROUGH also screened attack carriers on Yankee Station in the South China Sea. She participated in SEATO exercises in May, and was station ship at Hong Kong in June. On 26 June she was again off Vietnam on picket station. The ship returned to Pearl Harbor on 23 July.
In August 1966, GOLDSBOROUGH entered the Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard for overhaul and extensive modification. In 1967 she participated in “Operation Sea Dragon”, designed to interdict the North Vietnamese lines of supply into the Republic of Vietnam, and provided Naval Gunfire Support along the DMZ. During this deployment GOLDSBOROUGH fired nearly 10,000 rounds in support of allied forces and avoided over 800 rounds of hostile fire without damage to the ship. She was awarded the Naval Unit Commendation for exceptionally meritorious service in Vietnamese waters from 29 August 1967 to 17 February 1968 upon her return to Pearl.
In November 1968 GOLDSBOROUGH made her fourth Western Pacific deployment in five years, participating in eighty-eight gunfire missions in support of Vietnam, Republic of Korea, and U. S. Marine and Army forces.
In 1969 GOLDSBOROUGH participated in the Apollo 11 Recovery Mission. The command module “Columbia” splashed down about 200 nautical miles south of Johnston Island at 12:50 GMT July 24, 1969.
After a yard period in 1970, GOLDSBOROUGH made a fifth WestPac tour, departing Pearl in August and returning in February 1971. Again she provided Naval Gunfire Support for allied troops, and carried out carrier escort duties in the Gulf of Tonkin. Later that year she visited Portland, Oregon for the 1971 Rose Festival.
In September 1971 GOLDSBOROUGH departed on her sixth deployment to the Western Pacific, providing Naval Gunfire Support for allied ground troops and performing carrier escort services.
In early 1972 she was assigned to the recovery Task Force for Apollo 16. Departing again on 13 October 1972 for her seventh deployment to the Western Pacific, this would be her last trip to the “gunline” of Vietnam. In December, while conducting a combat mission GOLDSBOROUGH was hit by coastal artillery fire. The shore battery put a hole five feet wide through an upper deck. The ship’s crew received a Meritorious Unit Commendation for service between October 1972 and February 1973. The ship returned to Pearl Harbor in May 1973.
GOLDSBOROUGH underwent a major overhaul at Pearl in 1974. Her electronics and weapons systems were modernized, and she was fitted with a new type of sonar. Her boilers and generators were rebuilt as well. She was badly in need of this overhaul, being well worn from her repeated deployments to the Western Pacific.
During the 1980’s GOLDSBOROUGH participated in Persian Gulf operations, including contingency activity during the Iranian hostage crisis. She conducted maritime escort duties during the Iran / Iraq war, escorting Kuwaiti oil tankers through the Persian Gulf. GOLDSBOROUGH was modernized extensively in 83-84 at Pearl Harbor. In 86 the ship was host of the CNO Adm. Watkins.
In September 1990, during Operation Desert Shield GOLDSBOROUGH made the first seizure of an Iraqi ship, the Zanoobia. The Iraqi ship was boarded and diverted to a neutral port by GOLDSBOROUGH crew members. The ship’s action set the standard for future boarding operations during Operation Desert Shield.
GOLDSBOROUGH completed her final forward deployment in October 1992 to Central America as part of a joint task force involved in counter-drug operations, setting the standard for joint aerial and surface detection and monitoring operations.
GOLDSBOROUGH was decommissioned and stricken from the Naval Vessels Register on 29 April 1993. She was sold to Australia as a parts bulk in September the same year.